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Sgt Wesley W Marquis, POW 310th BG, 380th BS
1943 | Germany
310th Bomb Group, 380th Bomb Squad, T/Sgt Wesley W Marquis; B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Combat Mission for (21) 22 Sept. 1943
Wednesday, 22 September 1943 380th BS War Diary: Back to work we went today. Our objective was the Road Bridge and switchback just north of Grottaminarda, Italy. It was a highly successful mission. Due to intense flak encountered over the target, Lt. Hanlon’s B-25 was hit with a direct burst of flak. The three men in the rear of the ship bailed out. Lt. Hanlon however, expertly piloted the stricken bomber to a friendly field. Hanlon, James Augustus, Jr., 1Lt, pilot
380th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order ---/mission ---) Group Mission # :
Mission Report # 129 Date- Sep 22 1943
Target- Rd. Bridge & Switchback at 946765 (Just N ofGrottaminarda) Squadron airplanes-12 After the splendid work that our Group performed on the Castelnuovo Rd Jcn. that resulted in the destruction of 1800 M/T trapped on the severed roads, we have gained greater glory in our tactical work. Knowing of its importance, higher Command assigned us to destroy the Rd Bridge & Switchback at 946765 which is just N of Grottaminarda. A perfect piece of bombing was turned in by our bombardiers that resulted in direct hits on the bridge and severance of both the N & S legs of the bridge by our bomb strings. Flak of a “slight growing to moderate” intensity was experienced. It was enough, however, to plant a direct burst of flak in the bombay of Lt. Hanlon’s plane, causing a fire there. The three members of the crew in the rear of the ship, SGTS. MARQUIS, Talley and Pvt. Loy bailed out excited and believing the ship was going down. Sgt. Donahue,
A/C No. 11 aircraft unidentified (flak damage - crash landed at Palermo) P Hanlon, James Augustus, Jr., 2Lt CP Newkirk, Renford Raymond, 2Lt N None B Donahue, Francis E., S/Sgt E None R Talley, Edwin C., Sgt (bailed out, MIA) G Marquis, Wesley W., S/Sgt (bailed out, POW) TG Loy, R.L. (i.o.), Pvt (bailed out, MIA)
380th BS War Diary: Casualty Report: 22 September 1943 On the above day while participating in an operational mission to bomb the Road Bridge north of Grottaminarda, Italy, the following men are reported missing: *************************************
Radio Operator- Sgt. E.G. Talley Upper-Turret Gunner- S/Sgt. W.W.,Marquis
Tail-Gunner- Pvt. R.L. Loy
WESLEY MARQUIS: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice
Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - Tuesday, May 24, 1983
Deceased Name: WESLEY MARQUIS
Wesley Marquis, one of the few Americans during World War II to escape
from the notorious Stalag 17 prisoner-of-war camp outside Munich, died recently in Milwaukee. He was 72.
The 1953 film, Stalag 17, earned William Holden an Academy Award as best actor, but focused more on personality clashes among prisoners than on the torture and deprivation which captured servicemen reported they had suffered.
Marquis had enlisted in the military in 1942, and was a top-turret gunner with the 12th Air Force a year later when his bomber was struck by enemy fire over northern Italy and the crew bailed out.
After the war, his official military record gave only this terse statement of his adventure: "Bailed out of plane Sept. 21, 1943. Captured same day. Escaped Feb. 1944 out of 17-B. Thirty-one days on the loose, captured by Gestapo, was starved and beaten, spent 12 days with them. Was in hospital 4 or 5 months on acct. of their treatment."
Marquis, who was originally from New Hampshire, spoke French, which he put to advantage because Stalag 17 held French and Soviet prisoners as well as U. S. airmen. He fashioned a French Army uniform from clothing smuggled into the camp, put on the uniform, covered it with a blanket and made his way to a delousing area. Getting rid of the blanket, he joined a line of French prisoners waiting to see a movie and bolted into the night. After he was captured and returned to Stalag 17, he was locked into solitary confinement for 52 days.
Discharged in 1945, he re-enlisted in the Air Force and returned to perform intelligence work in Germany, retiring in 1958.
MARQUIS, Wesley: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice
Miami Herald, The (FL) - Saturday, May 21, 1983
Deceased Name: MARQUIS, Wesley
MARQUIS, Wesley, 72, a retired Air Force technical sergeant who was one of a handful of Americans to escape from the notorious Stalag 17 Nazi prisoner-of-war camp; in Milwaukee. Captured after his B17 was shot down over northern Italy, he escaped after six months but was recaptured after 31 days. His treatment by the Gestapo left him 100 per cent disabled.
WESLEY MARQUIS: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice
Philadelphia Daily News (PA) - Friday, May 20, 1983
Deceased Name: WESLEY MARQUIS
One of the few Allied prisoners to escape from the Germans' notorious Stalag 17 in World War II will be buried today in the Veterans Administration Cemetery in Milwaukee.
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Wesley Marquis died Tuesday. He was 72. A top turret gunner with the 12th Air Force when his plane was shot down over Italy, Marquis summed up his experience tersely on an official U.S. military report: "Bailed out of plane Sept. 21, 1943. Captured same day. Escaped Feb. 1944 out of 17-B. Thirty-one days on the loose, captured by Gestapo, was starved and beaten, spent 12 days with them. Was in hospital 4 or 5 months on acct. of their treatment."
Few escaped Stalag 17, a major POW camp for American, French and Soviet prisoners about 25 miles from Munich. Marquis, who spoke French, got out by fashioning a French army uniform from clothing smuggled into the camp, then bolting under cover of darkness from a crew of French prisoners. After 31 days, he was captured and eventually returned to Stalag 17. Marquis was discharged in 1945 but re-enlisted. He retired from the Air Force in 1958.
BRANCH OF SERVICE: U.S. Army Air Forces HOMETOWN: Milwaukee, WI HONORED BY: A Grateful American
ACTIVITY DURING WWII SERVED AS A TOP TURRET GUNNER AND ONE OF THE FEW AMERICANS TO ESCAPE FROM THE NOTORIOUS STALAG 17 PRISONER OF WAR CAMP OUTSIDE OF MUNICH, GERMANY WHERE PRISONERS SUFFERED TORTURE AND DEPRIVATION.
World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938 - 1946.
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 14081409
NAME MARQUIS WESLEY W RESIDENCE: STATE WISCONSIN; COUNTY MILWAUKEE
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT MILWAUKEE WISCONSIN ENLISTMENT DAY 28 January, 1941
S#SG Staff Sergeant GRADE: Staff Sergeant NATIVITY VERMONT
YEAR OF BIRTH 1911 RACE AND CITIZENSHI White, citizen EDUCATION 1 year of college
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION 373 Undefined Code MARITAL STATUS Married
Records of World War II Prisoners of War, 1942 - 1946
SERIAL NUMBER 14081409 NAME MARQUIS WESLEY W Staff Sergeant SERVICE CODE ARMY
ARM OR SERVICE AC Air Corps ARM OR SERVICE AC: AIR CORPS
DATE REPORT: 22 Sept. 1943 RACIAL GROUP WHITE STATE OF RESIDENCE Florida
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION Bombardment, Medium PARENT UNIT NUMBER 0310
PARENT UNIT TYPE Group/Regiment/Commands/System AREA North African Theatre: Italy
LATEST REPORT DATE: 01 June, 1945
SOURCE OF REPORT Individual has been reported through sources considered official.
STATUS Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated DETAINING POWER GERMANY
CAMP Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) 49-11
REP POW TRANSPORT SHIPS
1943 | Italy
Wesley's "Find A Grave";Birth: May 20, 1911 Death: May 17, 1983
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Wesley Marquis, one of a handful of Americans to escape from the notorious Stalag 17 Nazi prisoner of war camp, was to be buried today (May 20) with military honors.
Marquis, 71 died Tuesday at the VA Medical Center, His war career left him 100 percent disabled.
Born near Claremont, N.H., Marquis moved to Milwaukee in the 1930s. He enlisted in 1942 and became a top turret gunner with the 12th Air Force, which was then supporting U.S. troops in Italy.
On Sept. 21, 1943, on Marquis' 22nd mission, the left wing of his bomber was blown away over northern Italy. The crew parachuted.
(Source: Fairfield CA Daily Republic newspaper, Friday, May 20, 1983)